Monday, February 4, 2013

Cross-training for artists and crafters…

We all know about cross training for sports skills; we remember our gym teachers and coaches lecturing about how doing drills until we can’t breathe will help our stamina, and how running will help us be better at pretty much everything. But have you ever thought about how you can cross-train yourself to be a better artist, crafter, or business person?

For the past few years I have been dreaming about taking a cake decorating course. I love to bake and I have great respect for cake artists and think I would really enjoy learning how to make beautiful decorations for my cakes. This year for my birthday, my amazing husband signed me up for the beginner’s course! As I have been preparing and getting geared up for it (I’m so excited I can barely sit still,) I have begun to wonder this very thing. 

The best example of cross training for me was when I made my first round of business cards and I called on my sewing experience and used my sewing machine to create a decorative stitched border along one side of the cards in my brand colors. People thought it was so interesting and it was a great conversation starter! 

So how can you use your skills and interests to cross-train yourself? Can your interest in painting help you chose better color combos and create new patterns for your hand-dyed scarves? What about the jewelry class you signed up for on a whim, can you use those skills to help add a special touch to your hand-thrown mugs and bowls? Can your weekly trips to the farmer’s market inspire a new line of produce inspired baked goodies? 

So my challenge to you? Take a look at your hobbies and interests, let them inspire you in ways you have never imagined, and share your findings with us in the comments section below! And as I enjoy my wonderful birthday present (thank you honey) I will share how I am inspired to be a better crafter! 

Have Fun,

Monday, January 28, 2013

Do you have a day set aside?

The recent increase in USPS shipping costs has had many people concerned about their operating costs but mainly it has almost everyone in the US updating each and every listing in their shops. Now if you have 12 items in your shop this isn’t such a big problem, but if you have more like 100 or even 200 items (or more) this can seem a daunting task. has many tools that help to make this process easier, but this issue got me thinking about updating listings in general. 

Many times throughout the average month it’s a good plan to update your descriptions, tags, titles, or pictures, even if you are only freshening things up it is still an important part of drawing in business and making the process of selling easier for you and buying easier for your customer. But what is the best way to go about doing this? Sometimes I have weeks where I find something I want to update every day for a week straight! But I can’t very well go through and update all my listings every day because then I’d end up not having time to do anything else and would probably pull all my hair out. 

I was contemplating this very issue a few days ago as I was wrapping up an update of my listings and was about to use Etsy’s shipping updating tool and suddenly realized I would need to go through and update my descriptions all over again to reflect my new shipping policies! This was a very frustrating moment for me to say the least, until an idea popped into my head. Why don’t I start to pick one day a week where I update anything I have to in my listings? I’ll make a list of everything I want to update and not worry about it until the selected day. This way everything is addressed, but I don’t spend endless hours updating and re-updating my listings and wasting lots of time I need to be spending on other tasks. 

Do you have a day set aside? Or do you have another way you deal with this time-consuming yet important task? Please share your tips and tricks in the comment section below! As the Teamwork Team we are here to help each other grow and learn as we strive to reach our shop goals and sharing is an important part of that mission! 

Thanks in advance,

Sunday, January 27, 2013

What do you want this Valentine's day?

Feel free to let us know what your perfect Valentine's Day would be.  Do you want roses or dinner and a movie?  If you could would you travel to Paris just for the day?  What would you do there?  Go ahead and post your fairy tail!!

Please go to the Discussion Topics page to give your reply!  Thanks!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Just made a New Treasury on Etsy...

"CYBER MONDAY Fabulus Finds and Great Deals"

Check it out to find great coupons and wonderful gift ideas!

Here are a feb of the great specials:

FLURRIES Snowmen in Red Set of 2
Freddismom-DECKTHEHALLS20 for 20% off

KatiesCreativeCorner- KCC10 for 10% off total purchase under $15 or BLKFRIDAY for secret special savings on orders of $15 or more. (Free gift with every order)

Stocking Stuffer Gift Bag Holiday Soy Candle Tea Lights Set of 5 Prepackaged with Tag
CosmicCauldron -BLACK for 15% off your ENTIRE order!

AdorableVintage Snowcat Snowman Christmas Hand Towel
NorthCoastCottage- TAKE30 for 30% off

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Please take a minute...

Or two to check out the discussion topic by clicking on the Discussion tab at the top of the page!  It is a great way to be social, and also help others.  You may learn something you didn't know too! =)

Thank you!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Items for the Holidays!

Dog tug toy Recycled  Jean materialIf you are like me and have a dog that loves to chew, I suggest you try these new upcycled jean tug toys for your dog! Also, a great stocking stuffer for "man's best friend".

Pumpkin Pie Scented Soy Votive Candles Set of 4
In time for the holidays, Pumpkin Pie scented Votive Candles!  I can smell them already... Yummy!

Crochet Chenille Scarf, Warm Winter Scarf. SnowFlake Scarf   Great Gift
Cold Weather is coming!  Time to get a wonderful hand crochet Chenille Scarf.

Great for Kids Set of 8 Lime Green Polka Dotted Winter Holidays / Christmas Cards With Groovy Stickers and Messages - Ready To Ship
Are you in need of really great christmas Cards? Check out these groovy lime green cards!  A fun and snazzy way to send your holiday greetings!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Sharing the Etsy Love

If you haven’t noticed, I haven’t written in awhile. Now I could spin all sorts of excuses as to why not, but the truth is I got all wrapped up in my own worries and problems and forgot about why I first fell in love with Etsy. It’s a community. There is always someone willing to answer your question, give advice, congratulate you on successes and help you through defeats, as well as help you find that perfect coffee mug that will make your Grandma’s day. If I had only opened up to people about what was worrying me and asked for help, I wouldn’t have been as stressed and maybe it could have answered others questions as well. 

So in that spirit I give you my top ten ways to share the Etsy love! There are many ways to share the love but these are my favorites! Do you do things a bit differently? Please leave it for us in the comments! These are in no particular order!

1. Shop other shops

Sounds simple right? Well it is, how many times have I gone to a store to find that oh so perfect gift only to not be able to find just the right thing? Etsy is full of wonderful readymade products and hundreds of shops willing and ready to make your custom items as well. Now I am not saying don’t ever shop in a store, but try Etsy first! 

2. Answer questions on the forums

You don’t need to be an expert seller to give your two cents! Maybe you have an idea no one’s suggested, or just read an article or blog that could help, either way share what you know if you can. You could end up helping someone learn something new or solve a problem they couldn’t fix on their own.

3. Favorite items and shops you like

There are many different theories on why or how to favorite items so follow what makes the most sense to you. This is also a great way to share the love if you don’t have a lot of money and can’t shop Etsy, it’s almost like a shopping spree! You can favorite any item you like and you don’t have to worry about money!

4. Make treasuries

This is kind of an obvious one but it’s a good one to remember and if you do it right, it won’t take up too much time. Make treasuries about anything and everything. Have a favorite book / show? Need a gift for your brother? Don’t quite know how to say thanks? Have a craving? These could all make great treasuries! Make sure to follow Etsy’s rules and tips here as well!

5. Suggest projects and ideas

Have you ever browsed a shop and thought something was missing? Maybe you think that the person who makes custom knitted stockings could do really well with a line of knitted banners. Or perhaps the handmade pendants you stumbled upon would be a big hit with a group you are involved in or know about? There are many examples of this light bulb moment but the key here is to reach out and tell the shop owner. Be polite and straight to the point, and don’t say you’d be interested in buying it if you aren’t. Not everyone takes outside ideas but maybe they would be happy to hear what you think and it could be something that would be really successful for them! 

6. Join Circles

Be in circles, join other’s circles, be good to your circles. Another obvious one but someone recently reminded me of their importance and I thought I would remind you too. Again don’t just join circles willy nilly but if there is a shop you really like or someone who’s thread posts always inspire you, join their circle, chances are they will be a wealth of great finds and may help you towards your next purchase!

7. Suggest your favorites

This is a great business principle. (think “Miracle on 34th Street”) Say someone would like to place a custom order for something you don’t do or can’t because you are booked solid at the time, what do you do? You could simply tell them no and go on with your day, but what if you took customer service a step further? You would have to make sure it was a quality choice, but suggesting someone you know does great work could help the customer, the other shop, and you! Many shoppers would be grateful for a suggestion from an expert if they can’t get their first choice and it may help you be their first stop in the future! The other shop may repay you the 
kindness in the future as well.

8. Talk about Etsy

To anyone and everyone. Now don’t just be the person who talks about Etsy when it doesn’t even make sense in the conversation, but if you are talking to someone who talks about looking for something they could find on Etsy, tell them! Even if it’s not something you sell in your shop, slip them your business card and say, “This will take you to my shop, but you can use the search bar to find that item, Etsy’s great!” It’s a great way to share the love and can help people come to your shop too.

9. Be gracious and polite

In everything you do and say on Etsy (and let’s be honest everywhere!) Maybe someone says something rude about you or your shop but biting back at them won’t win you any fans and can even turn people off. Plus, in this age many people just don’t realize how what they say comes across. So even if someone gives you a tip that makes no sense, put a smile on your face and type a quick thank you and that you will keep it in mind. Sometimes people have bad days and when they wake up the next day, your kind response may be what they need to hear. 

10. Join teams and be involved

Like our great team! Teams are a great way to get and give support and answers. There are teams for pretty much anything imaginable and you can always start your own. Once you join some teams, make sure you are active. Posting links to your items are great but make sure you are looking at other’s items and the other threads the team has. Maybe someone needs help with something you just figured out, this is a great way to share the love and maybe make you a new friend!

I know some of these may not be everyone’s cup of tea, and I ask that you remember that these are just my views and ideas and that all of us are on a path of understanding and that this isn’t the end of my learning but just a stop along the way. I’ve highlighted some of the reasons why in the end sharing the love can help you, but I haven’t laid them all out. I don’t want people to think they should do any of these things just for the payoff they get, but for how they can help others. We could all be more generous with our time and talent and the payoffs we get should be the icing on the cake, not the reason we bake!

Ok, I’m going to step off my soapbox now, have a good day and don’t forget to share the love.